About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Switcheroo - Bait Congress & Switch In Supreme Court

The only thing Chief Justice John Roberts got right on Thursday was recognizing in his heart of hearts (as he did in his Senate confirmation hearings & even long before that) that the Supreme Court does not have the constitutional power to overrule the work of the two elected branches.  Instead of declining to rule on the ObamaCare case's merits or better yet declining to take the case @ all Roberts led the Supreme Court to the same result by judicially deferring to Congress & BO finding ObamaCare constitutional.  But worse -  the Supreme's decision favoring ObamaCare as constitutional established another new dangerous legal precedent as if we needed another new dangerous legal precedent to help bring down our Republic.  By not taking the case ObamaCare would still be the law of the land but without the new terrible legal precedent.  This is the correct position constitutionally.
BO's real neat trick in establishing ObamaCare as the constitutional law of the land is calling the failure to follow the mandate part of the legislation a penalty to Congress (i.e., bait) & once passed the Congress pulling the old switcheroo to the Supreme Court arguing this same penalty is really a tax - without the word "tax" ever appearing in the legislation.  Of course we all know Roberts fell for this bait & switch tactic & ObamaCare mustered a majority of Supremes.
Roberts went out of his way to a fault to defer to Congress & BO to find ObamaCare constitutional.  Considering the result of the entire ruling it is not @ all comforting to know that someone who does not have healthcare insurance who is sitting @ home on their couch not bothering a soul is not affecting interstate commerce & therefore is not subject to Congress regulating their inactivity under the Commerce Clause - but that Congress is constitutionally able to tax this same person's inactivity under an undefined & non-existent tax clause.  Although this limits for the first time what Congress can do under the Commerce Clause it explodes what they can regulate & tax under an undefined authorization to tax.
In essence the Supremes nonsensically found Congress cannot regulate a non-activity but they can tax it.  Accordingly Congress is unlimited in what it can tax so we now finally have a precedent of a limitation under the Commerce Clause but no limit under an unspecified tax clause.
The real shame is that the four dissenters voted to throw the ObamaCare law out in its entirety & all Roberts had to do was vote the same way as his four colleagues to save the day & put a big nail in the coffin of BO's second term.
"Win some lose most" was the way I recently described relying on nine unelected people (virtually not one of whom could be named by the great majority of the 310 million people in this country) to overrule the 537 elected people (who also are unidentifiable to most of their constituents) who are involved in passing legislation – the Founders never dreamed of such a situation as I repeatedly wrote in March during the oral arguments of the ObamaCare case.
When the majority (including Roberts) found that Congress had reached a point of constitutional limitation in their powers under the Commerce Clause by mandating people to buy healthcare insurance or pay a penalty that should have ended the case with the law thrown out as unconstitutional.  But then Roberts went fishing while the four statist justices waited for him to come up with a reason, any old reason was good enough for them.  Roberts found that the penalty really functioned as a tax & since Congress has the constitutional power to "lay & collect Taxes" that the law was therefore constitutional based on the taxing power of Congress who, along with BO, had previously gone out of their way to say the penalty was not a tax.  This is what the control of our apathetic lives has come down to. 
Never mind that the the majority of Supremes found ObamaCare constitutional despite the word "tax" never once appearing in the 2,500+ page legislation, or that "all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House" – Section 7 Paragraph 1 (the House not the Supreme Court),  or the particular tax Roberts cited is undefined & really non-existent in the Constitution.
Now in my judging whether or not something is constitutional I first ask myself what would the Founders approve of re the matter & then check the Constitution itself – which will never let you down.  In the ObamaCare matter the founders would never have found it constitutional & neither would KY Senator Rand Paul who correctly said "just because a couple of people on the Supreme court declare something 'constitutional' does not make it so.  The whole thing remains unconstitutional."
So the focus turns to the November election – where it should be instead of the Supreme Court - for resolution.  Many are saying this is such an important election because it is our only chance to rid ourselves of ObamaCare.  By BO's design this may not be correct in that far too many people do not know what really lies ahead for them re penalties (sorry taxes), requirements to buy insurance, & wait lines for such things as therapies for aching muscles & joints.  It may take some years after the November election before enough people can experience the damage ObamaCare has done to our way of life & our standard of living.  I believe it will be far easier in a few years to overrun all of the healthcare loving statists than it will be in November if only when I consider the Republican alternative.
On the same day ObamaCare was found constitutional Mitt said he would keep several of the law's provisions as part of his reworking it.  For one Mitt said a new law must "make sure that those people who have pre-existing conditions know that they will be able to be insured & they will not lose their insurance."
With that statement made within hours of ObamaCare being found constitutional how reassured are you that there is any difference @ all between Mitt & BO on healthcare?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

BO & The Supremes In Arizona

Part of why the Founders worried that the Judiciary Branch was the weakest (but co-equal) branch of our government was because the Judiciary Branch ultimately depends upon the aid of the Executive Branch to enforce their decisions.  Proving this point: in the matter of the Supreme Court ruling in the Arizona illegal immigration case made Monday BO has made it clear that he is not going to cooperative with the parts of Arizona SB 1070 that the Supremes let stand.

In particular the Supremes let stand, as constitutional in their opinion, the portion of SB 1070 pertaining to status check provisions that allows law enforcement officers to question a detainee's immigration status for people stopped on other-than-immigration law enforcement matters, like speeding, & call the Feds accordingly.  BO has said he will not cooperate with this ruling @ least not in full. 

The three major parts of SB 1070 that were struck down by the Supremes – 1) authorizing police to arrest without a warrant anyone "the officer has probable cause to believe . . . has committed any public offense that makes the person removable from the United States," 2) making it a state crime for an undocumented person to seek or engage in work, & 3) making it a state crime to fail to comply with federal alien-registration requirements (failure to carry papers).

Now just like the Supreme Court Justices BO has taken an oath to "preserve, protect, & defend the Constitution" (that he despises) so if he said he was not going to respect the decision of the Supremes because he thought their decision was unconstitutional that would be fine with me.  Until the Civil War, virtually every president regularly vetoed legislation because he thought some bills were unconstitutional - mostly for violating the Spending Clause of Article I, Section 8.

But BO is not concerned @ all about "the general Welfare of the United States" or the "uniform Rule of Naturalization" but rather how many Latino votes he can re-energize with his actions.

Within hours of the Supreme Court decision AZ Governor Jan Brewer was notified that BO revoked the 287(g) agreement under the authority of which Arizona law enforcement officers have partnered with the federal government in the enforcement of immigration law.  The agreement allows local police to enforce immigration laws after receiving proper training (@ substantial cost).  That agreement exists between the federal government & local law enforcement in 68 law enforcement entities in 24 states (including Massachusetts implemented under Mitt – which will come back to haunt him before November), but it will no longer be in effect in Arizona for reasons known only to BO (& everyone else who is breathing).

Long time readers will recall the report Carol & I made in 2006 entitled Immigration Laws & The Problems With Their Enforcement that was written after extensive research & interviews with Mark Kelly Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge for the Newark Office of Investigations of ICE.  This report appears under Classics on RTE.

Now there is one Jose Antonio Vargas who is in America illegally but is not hiding in the shadows – he is regularly appearing on national TV & is the subject of national publications.  Click here to hear Lou Dobbs provide a lesson on what citizenship is all about.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Marco Passes Constitutional Checks

The subscriber who asked in the last blog posting "is Marco Rubio a natural born Citizen eligible to be VP or Pres?" was not looking for trouble but rather wants to head trouble off after all of BO's "birther" controversies of the last four years.
I provided the facts (Marco was born in Miami to Cuban immigrant parents who became citizens four years after Marco's birth) & challenged readers to provide their own analysis as to whether Marco meets the eligibility requirements of the Constitution to be VP.
Before checking the Constitution we can call on knowledge gained from the birther matter - The most prominent issue raised against BO was the claim that he was not actually born in the United States (Hawaii) but rather in Kenya – thus ineligible to be President of the United States.  All of the birther constitutional controversy centers around BO's place of birth.  The point that applies to Marco is that he was unquestionably born in Miami.  After four years of intense scrutiny re what the Constitution says about birthplaces Marco's Miami birthplace should satisfy both right & left groups & every one in the middle that Marco meets the natural born Citizen requirement of the Constitution.
Thanks to two anonymous readers from the internet who did provide below the requested constitutional analysis.  I always learn when people contribute like this – thanks again.  My own analysis is the same as Response #1 – since I use the same Heritage Foundation reference book.  Marco does meet the natural born Citizen requirement of the Constitution per this analysis.
With re to other possible eligibility issues Marco meets the age requirement (he is 41), he has lived in America more than 14 years, & most importantly to me for more than one reason, he is subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.  Marco's parents were legally admitted to America for permanent residency in May 1956 & became citizens in 1975 four years after Marco's birth meaning Marco meets the complete & allegiance owing requirement of any citizenship check.
The Twelfth Amendment, ratified in 1804, makes clear that the President & Vice President have the same eligibility requirements.
The last several messages have shown great interest re Marco Rubio.  Please do not forget the larger point – namely, if we don't have a mindset change away from government dependence it will not matter whether Mitt & Marco or I hate to say BO & Biden win the November election.  
---Response #1---
Since the meaning of natural born Citizen refers to the place of birth, not to the parents, Rubio is a natural born Citizen.

"Under the longstanding English common-law principle of jus soli, persons born within the territory of the sovereign (other than children of enemy aliens or foreign diplomats) are citizens from birth. Thus, those persons born within the United States are "natural born citizens" and eligible to be President. Much less certain, however, is whether children born abroad of United States citizens are "natural born citizens" eligible to serve as President ..."---- Edwin Meese, et al, THE HERITAGE GUIDE TO THE CONSTITUTION (2005) [Edwin Meese was Ronald Reagan's attorney general, and the Heritage Foundation is a well-known Conservative organization.]
---Response #2---
I am glad that you have stated that you are a libertarian. One of the libertarian principles, a principle of civil rights, is that someone cannot be forbidden from doing something unless there is a specific law that says that it is illegal.

Well, the U.S. Constitution never says that the U.S. born children of foreigners are forbidden to be vice presidents or even presidents. Under strict construction principles also, unless a law specifically says something, it is not the law. Well, there is nothing in the Constitution that bars the U.S.-born children of foreigners from becoming president.

In addition to these two principles, historical research shows that the meaning of natural born Citizen comes from the common law and refers to the place of birth, not the parents.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Issue That Really Counts

The last two blog messages re Marco Rubio have brought many additional points like "is Marco Rubio a natural born Citizen eligible to be VP or Pres?"  Facts - Marco was born in Miami to Cuban immigrant parents who became citizens four years after Marco's birth. 
I would like to read the analysis of the many subscribers who regularly quote the Constitution to me as to whether or not Marco is OK as VP per the Constitution.  Until yesterday I was unaware this topic was so prevalent on the internet.
Since Marco has not been nominated for VP please consider another comment that seemingly poses more of an immediate dilemma – "
Doug - I am reminded of the old line about capitalism; Capitalism is filled with flaws and abuses. But it is vastly superior to any other system ever attempted.  Is Romney perfect? No. Is Rubio perfect? No. Are any of your members NOT going to vote for Romney / Rubio (if that is what it comes down to)? Doubtful. If they abstain, it will be a de facto vote for Obama.  The 'Conservative' Republicans had their shot & it didn't pan out in the primaries. R & R would still be vastly superior to BO & JB.  Call them out on issues you don't agree with. If they are voting wrong more often than you would like, replace them in primaries. That is the only term limit we need.  Otherwise, you have to play the hand you are dealt."
I personally don't want to settle for "vastly superior" to a communist – this is how we got into the mess we are in in the first place.  I would not have voted for the McCain ticket in 2008 until he selected Palin for his running mate as VP – I voted for her. The only ones from the primaries with positions you can believe (based on years of consistency) are Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, & Gary Johnson. I ran posts on all of the others showing their inconsistencies & baggage.  With Mitt you do not know what you are going to get.  I have been impacted by Democrat Mary Anne Marsh who said she has followed Mitt for eighteen years & he has been on every side of every issue during that time. She is right. I can't believe the Republicans are nominating Mitt. If this is the most important election of our lifetime where in the world is the A Team?
This brings us to the issue that really counts - if we don't have a change in mindset in this country it does not matter which one is president because BO or Mitt – either one - will continue us down the road to ruination. 
Do you think we would have had that needed mindset change if McCain or Hillary had been elected president in 2008 or would they have tinkered around the edges of many issues that always resulted in an expanded government?  The other Final Four candidate from 2008 would have made the difference we need – with Mike Huckabee as president we would have the FairTax enacted into law by now & not the government-dependent ObamaCare that far too many establishment Republicans are finding more & more to like every day.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Responses - Eliminate The Government-Dependent Mindset Infestation

Below are two responses to last night's subject message that add to the original discussion. 
Response #1 provides more negative information for us re another anti-American vote by Marco Rubio
in which Rubio not only voted to support BO's nomination of Maria Carmen Aponte as the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador but helped round up a philibuster proof majority in favor of BO's nominee.  Our responder provides the names of the GOP support of this vote – Rubio is keeping very poor company.  Naming names is so important to our electoral education.
Response #2 provides an insight into the import-export bank & renews a call for term limits – a power we theoretically have in our hands now. 
---Response #1---
I've always liked Marco Rubio, but I am beginning to have some doubts about him. Last week he voted to confirm Aponte as the Ambassador to El Salvador. If you remember, there was some speculation about her affair with a Cuban spy. She is also hated by many of the people in El Salvador because of her positions on social issues. They do not want her as their ambassador. Rubio voted for her confirmation with eight other Republicans. Sorry to say, John McCain and the others are not conservative Republicans, and in my opinion most of them are not even moderates. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire was supposed to be a conservative, but that has not been reflected in some of her recent votes.
Keep your eye on how Rubio votes.
---Response #2---
Doug - the Ex/Im vote was very telling. Too many in House and Senate are lured to crony capitalism / corporate welfare so they can get reelected. Some do come in believing in free market capitalism but become corrupted. I sense that many of these lack confidence and conviction. That is a damn shame. One solution that may help is term limits. Too bad this lost steam. We need confident leaders who will come in from private sector and represent us for 6 years only (Senators) and 4 years (2 terms for House). Longer than this and one looses touch with private economy reality. Our Founding Fathers did not envision career politicians. It is rare to find a politician today that states "I will only serve one term; I will not take money from lobbyists. I will do what is best for free market capitalism and for the economy. Then I will return to work again in the private economy".

Yes - again we need a grass roots drive for a constitutional amendment for term limits. Let us persuade state legislatures to take this up ASAP.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Eliminate The Government-Dependent Mindset Infestation

Thanks to the Night Watchman for passing along this link of a video that vividly shows the government-dependent mindset that infests over 144 million Americans.  The video shows how people Google "how do I qualify?" to learn how to get benefits like food stamps (as of U.S. fiscal year 2009 euphemistically called SNAP - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) & make being poor the best investment in America in that low income people receive on average $10 back in federal spending for every dollar they pay in taxes.
The link came with the comment from the Night Watchman – "Talk about having no "'skin in the game.'"
Well of course these 144 million government-dependent people have plenty of skin in the game – they just don't know it.  They are just like all of us who were blessed to be born &/or live in America – every one of us has it all to lose & we have been working on losing it double time for many years.  
Since the great majority of the ever increasing government-dependent people have no immediate incentive obvious to them for changing their mindset they never consider that the current system cannot continue indefinitely as is.  Long time subscribers of these messages have read for years that we are @ or @ least are approaching the unsustainable point where we have more takers than makers.
My test is to gauge whether people I meet want to create wealth (makers) or redistribute it (takers).  The takers are winning.
But all of this can be turned around over night by releasing the American spirit & work ethic that can eliminate the budget deficit & national debt in rapid fire order if only the government would get out of the way.
BO is the champion of larger expanding government so if he is reelected we ultimately will have the biggest divide in income inequality imaginable where only a small handful of elites prosper while the rest of us all share the same socialistic underdevelopment, poverty, & misery.  Just like in 2008 we do not have a presidential electoral choice this November that will totally stop this slide – the choice once again is socialism or socialism lite.
The important thing is to build a bedrock foundation of congressional candidates who will work with Jim DeMint & against BO & the establishment Republican Party leaders.  Below is the center editorial from today's WSJ that reveals a list of just the type of people that can fool us.  Now I know that one vote does not make a bad career but some are appearing on these type of lists more & more often – like Congressman Allen West & Senator Marco Rubio (below).  I like editorials that name names.
A Tale of Two Conservatives

Sixteen Senate Republicans, including Marco Rubio, vote to preserve the sugar quota program.

One test for economic conservatives is whether they are willing to oppose constituent business interests looking for government favoritism. On that score, two recent contrasting votes by Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Marco Rubio of Florida are instructive.

Last month the Senate easily voted to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, 78-20, a vote that was never much in doubt given the backing from business lobbies and the White House. But it's still worth saluting the 20 votes in opposition—19 Republicans and independent socialist Bernie Sanders—and especially Mr. DeMint, a rare case of a Senator voting for principle against the biggest interests in his home state.


Boeing is the largest beneficiary of Ex-Im bank taxpayer loan guarantees and it has a new plant to turn out 787s in North Charleston. General Electric and Caterpillar have major plants in South Carolina and get Ex-Im help too. Mr. DeMint went so far as to lead the charge against Ex-Im, much to the annoyance of Chambers of Commerce in the Palmetto State.

"I gave a speech to 400 Chamber members and everyone was for Ex-Im Bank," he says. "So I asked them: 'How many of you would sign your own name to this loan?' Not a single hand went up." Mr. DeMint says he voted as he did because he's concluded that "we've created a culture in Washington that has almost every major business in the country with its nose in the trough."

That includes the sugar lobby, which last week narrowly defeated a bipartisan attempt at reforming its egregious quota program that gouges American consumers to benefit a mere 5,000 or so farmers. The Senate voted 50-46 to table Senator Pat Toomey's reform bill, but the reform would have passed if not for the votes of 16 GOP Senators. (See the nearby table.)

The usual sugar beet and sugar cane state suspects dominate the list, but one name leaps out—Mr. Rubio, the freshman from Florida who won his seat in 2010 while running as a tea party favorite in opposition to the crony capitalism and government meddling of the Obama Administration.

Mr. Rubio nonetheless voted against consumers and for the big sugar-cane producers, including Florida's Fanjul family. Mr. Rubio thus voted to the left of the 16 Democrats who joined 30 Republicans in supporting sugar reform. Unlike Mr. DeMint, the Floridian was not a profile in courage on this issue, or even a profile.

The political habit of favoring big business is bipartisan, as the sugar and Ex-Im Bank votes show. If Republicans want the political credibility to reform middle-class entitlements, they had better be prepared to eliminate corporate welfare too. Kudos to Mr. DeMint for understanding this.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Global Wind Day Is Its Own Global Warning

Regular readers know that our SC businessman has made many contributions to RTE over the years.  His specialty has been global warming subjects & in fact his presentation from April, 2007 entitled Earth Day Message From 1975 - It Is Going To Be A Cold World is listed as one of the Classics on the let hand side of the blog.
With this as a backdrop environmental-extreme statists have proclaimed June 15, 2012 "Global Wind Day" – a day highlighting how windmills will cure the ills of the world without mentioning any of the impracticalities, high costs of wind energy, & how it threatens our economy and very way of life.
Steve Lonegan of AFP lets us know that this event is nothing less than an opportunity for far left radicals to brainwash kids across the globe using them as props.  Indoctrination of children in Spain, France, & Greece includes kite flying, coloring books, puppet shows, painting contests, & baptizing windmills.  Mr. Lonegan points out it is no coincidence that Global Wind Day is also the same day as the kick-off of the 20th Anniversary of Agenda 21 "RIO+20" Climate Change and Sustainable communities initiative.

Here are some of the companies financing this day of global environmental indoctrination: General Electric, Siemen's, Lockheed Martin, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, & Ernst & Young - all of whom would stand to benefit from green subsidies and wind energy cronyism paid for with our tax dollars.

In (dis)honor of Global Wind Day – I present below the latest finding of our SC businessman re his research on the validity of Global Warming.  For a minute it looked like he became a convert until he once again brings us back to reality with his apologetic comment that follows his Global Warning below.
GLOBAL WARNING – from SC Businessman
The Washington Post/Associated Press
The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulafft, at Bergen, Norway.

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes.

Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.

few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds. Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.
I apologize.

I neglected to mention that this report was from November 2, 1922,
as reported by the AP and published in The Washington Post - 89 years ago.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Flag Day Message From Anna Little

Below is the Flag Day message from NJ congressional candidate Anna Little who has been the subject of RTE blog postings several times before.  Anna Little is a FairTax supporter & staunchly backs the Tea Party & the Constitution.  It would be a watershed event for Anna to win CD#6 in NJ this November.

---U.S. Congressional Candidate Anna C. Little Issues Statement on Flag Day---

HIGHLANDS, NJ - Today is June 14, Flag Day. On this date in 1777, when our Founders were fighting for our Independence, the Continental Congress established the Stars and Stripes as the official flag of our fledgling nation. June 14 is also the birthday of our United States Army, founded in 1775 when the Continental Congress authorized enlistment of riflemen to serve what was then called the "United Colonies."

Like most Americans, our family will proudly fly our flag and remember all the brave men and women who carried it into battle defending the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Let us never forget that they swore an oath "to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, against all enemies, foreign and domestic; and to bear true faith and allegiance to the same."

For military families, current citizens, future citizens, and for all who love America, the flag is more than the pretty piece of cloth it is made from. We Americans honor the U.S. flag because it is a potent symbol of our form of government; a government of the people, by the people, and for the people: Its 13 stripes represent the people of the 13 colonies who had the genius and the conviction to forge our government in a Constitution that recognizes our rights as gifts from God.

The U.S. flag's 50 stars represent the people of the 50 states who had the courage to defend that conviction against tyranny. It is also symbolic of our defense of those rights, and the freedom that defense provides, a freedom which remains unique among nations of the world.

People around the world become very emotional when they see their country's flag desecrated or hear it called "offensive" when displayed. Try traveling to Europe, or the Middle East, and see what happens when you try to burn their national flag.

In the Olympics, the winning athletes all celebrate their nation's victory and success in proudly displaying their nation's flag. National flags are a symbol of unity and pride in one's county and heritage.

We must all work tirelessly to defend each and every one the rights provided by our unique Constitution: the right to freely practice our religion; the right to free speech and press; the right to petition our government for a redress of grievances; the right to peaceably assemble; the right to keep and bear arms; the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures; are just to name a few. Many of these rights are now under attack, or have been under attack for some time.

I believe that if we keep the following thought as our constant prayer, we will surely protect our Constitutional rights. "God bless all who have served and are currently serving our country. May we, by our words and especially our actions, ever demonstrate our gratitude for the sacrifices they, and their families have made, as we enjoy the blessings of liberty. By so doing, let us make every day, Flag Day, as we show our appreciation for our way of life."

Please join me in raising your U.S. flag today as a statement of your pride and love for the flag and what it symbolizes: our great nation, the United States of America.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Illegal Immigrant Tax Scam - Additional Child Tax Credit

Individuals who are not authorized to work in the United States were paid $4.2 billion in refundable credits in 2010 – this is the topic of investigative reporting done by an Indianapolis TV station that highlighted the fraud where many ineligible people claim, on their tax returns, the so-called "Additional Child Tax Credit" that amounts in the most flagrant cases to dishonest refunds of well over $10,000 per year – paid to people who had no tax liability to begin with & were claiming nephews & nieces who live in Mexico as their additional children on the IRS form (#8812).  Thanks to two subscribers to RTE who separately sent me the above link.
The aforementioned credits currently amount to $1,000 per child & are "refundable" meaning that parents may receive refunds even when they do not owe any tax (i.e., the cash out-flow checks from the government can exceed the parent's tax liability, if any) – in many of these cases the children do not even live in America & are claimed by people who are not really their parents.  The scam is catching on - The Treasury Department's Inspector General For Tax Administration determined that $4.2 billion was paid in 2010, up from less than $1 billion in 2005.
Although the TV station's report is currently very popular on the internet it is far from the first to report on this topic – the matter is almost a year old & understandably Congress is not going out of its way to publicize it. 
There is the normal partisan divide on the issue – the Republicans act as though they prefer @ least a semblance of propriety & the Democrats vociferously proclaim unlimited spending to help children wherever they are found.  Please click on this video to hear twenty five year entrenched Democrat Georgia Congressman John Lewis make an emotional appeal to support children that is backed by the National Council of La Raza who said in January "More than 4 million Latino children and their families would face greater hunger, poverty, and other severe hardships if this (the Republican) proposal is enacted."
The upcoming election is really about whether or not we can find candidates who can discern right from wrong.




Monday, June 11, 2012

Responses - The People In Wisconsin, San Diego, & San Jose Are On To Something

Below are four responses to last night's subject message re the public sector unions' electoral defeat on June 5 in Wisconsin, San Diego, & San Jose.  Reponses #1 & #2 provide additional insight while #3 lets us know that Romney must do more.  Responder #4 takes the most modest public sector pension example I could think of, & despite all of the other statistics, graphs, & election results presented to the contrary incomprehensively (like where is the private sector counterpart to the public sector union worker realistically going to come up with $645,000 by age 55 to generate a similar income stream) comes to the conclusion that the problem is not in the design of the public sector pension plans but rather lies with the politicians who failed to fund them as if the rest of us would not have paid sooner rather than later.
---Response #1---
Doug - With a few word changes your article could reflect "PIGS" in Europe. Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain want Germany to subsidize their early retirement while Germans work till 65.  Welcome to perversions of Socialism.
---Response #2---
To top the insults to the private sector if not all, at least most, of the public management have to belong to the union. I know of one, so the raises and benefits are all exploited by public workers and management. For the bargaining table there is no one bargaining for the tax payer. The tax payer is stuck with the bill. If someone falls behind on their taxes they will gladly take your property without a tear, and an interest rate higher than any credit card.
---Response #3---
Doug, as I have been saying for a long time - give people job benefits, without any cost to them - they will vote for you.
Re Wisconsin -  it was not a big win for Mitt Romney.  True, people voted against union people – but do not count BO out.  He will use other tactics to get votes and all of these tactics will involve the government printing press.
In fact, BO is now targeting Hispanic radio stations, and if he can get the Hispanics to come out and vote, then he has a good chance of winning.  In his radio programs BO tells them that he understands that family is very important to Hispanics -  if someone gets sick and the family has no assets government will pay their bills. That hits home with them.

Doug, as BO pushes for more social issues for the people, regardless of costs, Romney will have to come up with something to counter other than to say he creates jobs.
---Response #4---
Doug - You left out one number. Your hypothetical New Jersey state employee who earns $50,000 and retires at $27,000 has to have worked for the state for 29.7 years. So at almost 30 years of service, the hypothetical state employee receives slightly over half pay in deferred compensation. And that's a current employee. New hires are on a less generous plan and need to work 32.4 years to achieve the same benefit in retirement.

True, the employee can retire at 55 without penalty, but he or she would have to have started with the state at age 25 (age 22 under the new rules). Decide for yourself whether the deferred compensation for New Jersey state employees is excessive.

A soldier can retire at half pay with 20 years, and many private defined-benefit plans tend to peak out at 20 years and pay a greater percentage of salary up to that point.

Furthermore, ERISA requires private plans to vest after five years of service. State plans vest after 10, so a state employee who leaves after 9 years of service comes up empty.

Your private-sector person who saves $645,000 to get the same income stream can pass that amount at death onto his family. The state employee has nothing to pass on.

The problem in New Jersey is less with the design of the plan than it is with the politicians who failed to fund it. Now we are all paying, public employees and private-sector persons alike.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The People In Wisconsin, San Diego, & San Jose Are On To Something

Background: partial posting on ReturnToExcellence on December 27, 2010.
"As recently as the 1950s there were no unions for government workers...But that changed in the late fifties with New York City Mayor Robert Wagner's cynical appeal to the votes of city workers (a form of Death Of Democracy)...In 1962 JFK signed executive order 10,988 which allowed unionization of the federal workforce - this also was the genesis of the unionized public work force in many states & cities...Average total compensation per hour worked for state & city workers is $39.66 compared to $27.42 in the private sector according to the BOL & the Cato Institute. Other than a 34% differential in wages & salaries the biggest disparities are that state & city public sector defined benefit pensions are 7 times as large as those in the private sector & public sector healthcare insurance is over twice as costly... Many who have been in the public sector unions for decades can find themselves retiring in their early fifties with an inflation adjusted pension near their full final salary plus lifetime free health care while their private sector employee counterparts continue to work well into their sixties or seventies with their taxes going to support the pension & healthcare benefits of their public sector unionized neighbors. Carol believes this is the basis of a militant relationship of neighbor against neighbor...J.L. Gabbert describes this danger when he writes "'Imagine the irony (little imagination required) when a 60-something worker in the private sector, who is still working @ half his former salary because all he has is a rolled over 401(k) from a chapter 11 bankrupt former employer, is faced with a tax increase to continue funding the six-digit public pension of a state or city worker who retired 30 years ago @ age 50."'
Now I thought we would be talking & writing about the above exploitation of wealth producing private sector Americans for years before people woke up & did any thing about it (if ever) but the public sector union defeat last Tuesday in the Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election as well as measures passed in San Diego & San Jose to rein in public sector retiree benefits really shows how fast positive things can happen in America.  Bravo.
I don't think any political party would be smart to read more into the aforementioned results other than people can quickly understand when they are being taken advantage of - once they have the information to know it.  On this score RTE has contributed as indicated above in December 2010 plus other postings.
Earlier last week Carol & I participated in a two day higher education program in NYC cooperatively hosted by the Manhattan Institute, the Philanthropy Roundtable, & DonorsTrust.  One of the discussion panels presented a link from the Manhattan Institute to compare taxpayer-guaranteed pension benefits for public sector employees to those of private sector employees.  I ran a modest example on the site & found that an-other-than fire fighter, policeman, or teacher category in NJ retiring @ age 55 with a $50,000 salary would have a pension of over $27,000 per year.  A private sector person would need to save over $645,000 by age 55 to replicate that guaranteed income stream.  Similar comparisons to fire fighters & policeman require savings of way over $1 million by the private-sector counterpart.  Click on the above site & try a few examples yourself to see if you think the people in Wisconsin, San Diego, & San Jose are on to something.  The point is it is just not sustainable, either morally, civically, or fiscally, to have taxpayers who cannot afford similar benefits for themselves - or even worse have no pension or retiree healthcare plan @ all – pay for others.
Many union Democrats are disappointed or even mad with BO who flew over Wisconsin several times during the recall campaign on his way to political fund raisers in Minnesota & Illinois without ever really taking a firm stand (what else is new) for the union candidate.  But ABBO endorsers can be equally dismayed with the establishment Republican candidate Mitt Romney who was matching BO stride for stride in not taking a position until all the votes were counted – Mitt also never once appeared in Wisconsin during the recall campaign. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Needed Presidential Campaign Contrast

For everyone looking for a contrast in this presidential election (i.e., those who currently think there is not much difference between Mitt & BO) please click on this video of freshman Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh being interviewed by Bill O'Reilly last week. (Although Congressman Walsh did sign the letter to the Speaker that I disapproved of in a recent posting he is graded 99% by the Club For Growth.)
The positions taken by Congressman Walsh in the above video are very similar to those of Jon Voight in the classic video I have presented several times. If the Republicans go down in the November election those who prefer ABBO should @ least hope that Mitt will be able to articulate the positions presented by Congressman Walsh (& Jon Voight) so that Americans can clearly see the stakes in the next election. This approach is so far superior to saying, like John McCain did in the last presidential campaign, that BO is a fine fellow who he happened to have some disagreements with. BO is not a fine fellow – he is trying to change your way of life all for the worst & I could not make that point clearer than Congressman Walsh did in the above video.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Most Important Unemployment Number May Be Yet To Come

Thanks to Congressman Frelinghuysen for providing the stats (& excellent links) below that were released by the DOL (unemployment rate for May is 8.2%) earlier today that show the pathetic economic condition of America three years & four months into BO's presidency.  The above theoretical projected graph was released by BO's economic team of Roemer & Bernstein (now both long gone to greener pastures) on January 10, 2009.
These stats, awful as they are, really disguise the miserable condition of our economy.  For instance, how encouraging is it for a long time unemployed person who finally finds a job that pays $22,000 per year if his former job paid $50,000 per year – such a person is now counted as employed.  (Ask a senior citizen about their CD interest income since rates have fallen from 5% to less than 2% – a 60% decline.  Same thing.  What if these manipulated artificially low CD interest rates delay your retirement or cause you to never retire all per BO's design?)
And yet poll after poll says it will be a close presidential election – ask yourself how can that be? – it is important for each of us to know the answer & regular readers of this blog do. 
Worse yet let the unemployment rate fall to 7.9% between now & November (one lousy tick below the maximum 8% shown in the graph above for the "with recovery plan" i.e., stimulus) for business cycle reasons & BO will release a barrage of ads saying his plan is working – just a little late because things were worse under Bush than could ever have been imagined.  Such a similar plan worked to get FDR reelected in the 1930s when the economy was even worse.
Unemployment: By the Numbers
  • 40: The unemployment rate has been at or above 8 percent for 40 consecutive months. Before President Obama took office, unemployment had not been above 8 percent for this long since the Great Depression. Over three years ago, the Obama Administration said that unemployment would never reach 8 percent if the "stimulus" was approved.
  • 14.8%: The rate of "underemployment" or "real unemployment," including the unemployed, those who want work but have stopped searching in this economy, and those who are forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment is 14.8 percent.
  • 12,720,000: There were 12.72 million unemployed Americans looking for work in the month of May, an increase of 220,000 from April. There have been more than 12 million unemployed Americans every month that President Obama has been in office.
  • 8,098,000: The number of Americans forced to work only part-time in May because they could not find full-time employment was 8.1 million, an increase of 245,000 from April.
  • 2,423,000: The number of people who have looked for a job at some point in the last year but are not counted as unemployed because they gave up their search is now 2.4 million, up by 60,000 from April.
  • 830,000: The number of discouraged people who stopped looking for work because they believed there were no jobs available is now 830,000.
  • 23,241,000: The total number of "underemployed" Americans is 23.2 million, including those unemployed (12.7 million), those who are no longer looking for work (2.4 million), and those who are working part-time because no other work is available (8.1 million).
  • 13th: Where the U.S. ranks in ease of starting a business in the world according to a World Bank report. In 2007, the U.S. ranked 3rd.